Small businesses have trouble with pictures. Their websites and blogs are often just words on a white background, or else they’re stuffed with cheesy stock photos that don’t represent the company well. Why? I think it’s the Internet’s insatiable hunger for pictures. Effective content marketing demands blog posts and social media posts with lots of pictures. So, how do you come up with five or even two good blog post images a week? It’s easier than you think.

Take Pictures At Work

Not every cell phone snapshot is suitable for Facebook. But you won’t know if you have a good picture unless you have a bunch to choose from. By taking pictures around the office or at the work site, you’ll catch those shareable moments that build up existing trust relationships and attract new customers. Of course, you’ll end up taking a lot of pictures of your thumb, the ground and lots of mundane moments too. But the few good ones are worth it.

Of course, there need to be boundaries for picture taking. And not just because some people are uncomfortable getting Instagrammed. This activity takes up valuable time, so don’t bust out your phone just to photograph people at their desks. Here’s a short list of photo ops to look out for so you’re ready when something shareable does happen:

  • Team building activities
  • Special meals and office celebrations
  • Before and after pictures
  • Smiling pictures with your friends (that means clients)
  • Finished products
  • Industry meetings/conferences and other trips

Invest in Stock Photos

While a collection of work pictures is a great resource, especially for Facebook and Twitter, you need stock photos too. They’re useful to illustrate concepts and topics not directly related to recent news in your work life. Unfortunately, stock photography costs real dollars and cents. A cheap stock photo costs about six dollars and a good one might run you $20 or more. Obviously, you can’t purchase a great, new stock photo for every blog post.

So reuse the best ones. In fact, why not pick five or six of your most used categories and make an image for each of them?

For example, Roundpeg has ready-made images for graphic design, writing, web design, marketing, small business tips and WordPress help. We might repeat an image every other week, or not, depending on the topics scheduled in our editorial calendar.

Your blog readers won’t care if they see the same image every once in a while. While you should try to mix it up and create unique images for each post when you can, a set of default images will make sure you never post without one.

Still wary of paying for images? Whatever you do, don’t just find something on Google and use that. A “found” image like that is owned by someone else and you probably don’t have the legal license to use it on a small business blog. Instead, try a site like Photopin to find free pictures licensed for commercial use.

As a writer for Roundpeg’s blog, I love having the option of a default image for my posts. I can focus on writing knowing that there’s an image already prepared.

photo credit: josemanuelerre via photopin cc